(This is why I don't throw away newspapers until I've read them ;)
Here's a March 12th Vancouver Sun article about technology invented by professor Lorne Whitehead and being produced by a UBC research team that involves using sunlight to light offices, with a solar canopy and a series of mirrors to redirect sunlight into the depths of buildings where simple light from a window wouldn't reach.
Interestingly enough, on sunny days many offices use more electricity because the glare from undirected sunlight makes working difficult so quite often blinds are closed, requiring that lights be turned on. The solary canopy and mirrors effectively reduce the glare to the point where the sunlight is usable, as well as diffusing it enough so that sunscreen is not required.
This project is being worked on in a UBC lab, with a test site at a BCIT building. Basically the solar canopies in place redirect the light through a series of reflective ducts, which travel through the building. There are fluorescent lights in place as back up, which come on if the light is interrupted by something such as a cloud.
Sounds promising to me! I`m definitely keeping my eye on this as a potentially beneficial new green technology.
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